Bougie alerted me that yesterday’s post did not publish properly, so it’s Workout Thursday instead.
Happy #Workout Wednesday! Today let’s talk about the benefits of walking.
I live in New York City. I walk a ton. I easily get the recommended 10,000 steps a day, right?
It’s harder than you’d think!
My commute is 1,428 steps each way.
Each time I walk to the kitchen or bathroom at the office and back to my desk adds about 300 steps.
By the time I get home from work, I’m somewhere around 5,000 steps. That means I have to go out of my way to get 5,000 more. Getting off the train a stop early and walking home doesn’t do it. Not even close.
My gym is 23 blocks away from my apartment. That 18-minute walk is 1,768 steps. Double that and now we’re getting closer to goal.
What’s the deal with 10K, you ask? The advice of the US Surgeon General is that it takes about 10,000 steps per day to maintain your current weight. Of course, if you prefer biking, kayaking or dancing, by all means, do that instead.
The benefits of walking include maintaining a healthy weight, preventing heart disease, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes. It also strengthens bones, lifts mood and improves balance and coordination, according to the Mayo Clinic.
I have a few improvements I’d make to the Fitbit, if I were an engineer who knew how to do such things: Have it track heart rate. I can sweat it out in a tough yoga or spinning class and add no steps. Carrying my laptop, laundry or 4-year-old nephew up the stairs and it gives no extra credit. A step is just a step regardless of exertion.
The Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes of heart-elevating exercise per day. Now, this doesn’t mean if you only have 15 minutes, you shouldn’t do anything. Remember the simple rule: Any is better than none.
But if you’re looking for a motivational tool, I recommend Fitbit. It isn’t perfect, but it has me motivated. I can challenge my friends (want to challenge me? Here’s my page), but my main goal is to be better than I was yesterday, last week or last month.
Fitbit also tracks sleep, which I find fascinating. I tap it when I go to bed. It uses my movement to detect whether I’m sleeping or tossing and turning. I tap it again when I wake up. Then I can log on to my account to see how many hours I got, and how many times I was awake or restless at night. I generally fall asleep within a few minutes of tapping and tend to wake up after 7 hours, 15-30 minutes.
You can also enter your food intake for the day and Fitbit gives you a report of calories in vs. calories burnt.